- Admiral leads Footsie higher
- Wall Street closed for MLK Day
- BoJ expected to announce stimulus; Eurogroup meet in Brussels
Stock markets across Europe were making small gains on Monday morning with volumes said to be light in the absence of trading on Wall Street later on.
‘European equities opened better this morning as the recent rally continued in light volume trade. With US markets closed for Martin Luther King Day, we’re unlikely to see any significant shifts in risk attitude until later in the week,’ said sales trader Matt Basi from CMC Markets.
As for today, markets are likely to focus on a two-day Bank of Japan meeting with expectations high for a bond-buying announcements. According to a Bloomberg survey, most analysts expect a 10tn-yen increase in asset purchases.
Meanwhile, Eurozone finance ministers (the Eurogroup) are to meet in Brussels later today. Members are expected to elect the new head of the group, as Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker steps down from the post after having served for eight years. Holland’s Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is expected to take the helm.
Finance ministers will be examining Cyprus as the results of the review for the country’s bank restructuring are expected to be available today. However, doubts over Mediterranean country’s debt sustainability remain and final decisions on aid will probably be delayed until after the country’s presidential elections in February.
FTSE 100: Admiral jumps after upgrade; Burberry taken down by Richemont
Insurance giant Admiral surged this morning, leading the Footsie higher early on, after Goldman Sachs upped its view on the shares from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ and hiked its price target from 1,160p to 1,500p. Admiral was followed closely by sector peer Aviva.
Luxury brand Burberry was among the heavy fallers as sector peer Richemont dropped in Paris after missing revenue forecasts.
Shares in aerospace engineer Meggitt were weighed down by concerns that one of the group’s products could be linked to the grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Barclays was in the red after an executive quit amid claims he destroyed an explosive report which labelled the bank ‘out of control’. The document was said to expose a culture of fear, intimidation, bullying and mismanagement at the bank’s stockbroking and investment arm, which handles client assets worth £184bn.
Drinks group Diageo was lower after UBS cut its recommendation to ‘neutral’. Rival SABMiller was also down after saying that it is to sell its Panama-based milk and juice business to narrow the focus of the Cerveceria Nacional division.
‘Learning company’ Pearson sunk after saying that 2012 operating profits would be flat at £935m.
United Utilities and Centrica were in the blue after Seymour Pierce said that despite the utility sector’s outperformance in 2012, ‘there is still some very good value there, backed up by solid yields’. Meanwhile, airline giant IAG was performing well after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to ‘outperform’.
Gold miner Randgold gained after saying that production has returned to norma at its Tongon mine after a fire in the mills section of plant three weeks ago.
FTSE 250: Afren up after record performance
Oil and gas group Afren was a high riser after saying that production levels last year hit a record-high as it labelled its exploration and appraisal campaign a ‘significant success’. Net production in 2012 totalled 42,830 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd), in line with the guidance range of 42,000-46,000 boepd given at the half-year results statement in August.
Transport and logistics group Stobart also rose after saying that Non-Executive Chairman Rodney Baker-Bates is to retire.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,215.00p +5.29%
Aviva (AV.) 372.70p +1.77%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,400.00p +1.74%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 365.00p +1.73%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 211.80p +1.63%
National Grid (NG.) 693.50p +1.46%
GKN (GKN) 246.80p +1.44%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 267.80p +1.44%
Evraz (EVR) 308.70p +1.41%
Centrica (CNA) 343.00p +1.30%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Pearson (PSON) 1,198.00p -3.23%
Meggitt (MGGT) 428.20p -2.06%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,800.00p -1.64%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,364.00p -1.59%
Diageo (DGE) 1,815.00p -1.52%
Kingfisher (KGF) 269.80p -1.14%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,952.00p -1.09%
British Land Co (BLND) 563.00p -0.88%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 809.50p -0.80%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 820.00p -0.79%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 220.60p +4.80%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 91.00p +4.60%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 94.95p +3.77%
WH Smith (SMWH) 636.50p +3.41%
Henderson Group (HGG) 156.30p +3.37%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 136.80p +2.86%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 35.00p +2.34%
Afren (AFR) 137.90p +2.15%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 56.50p +1.89%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 39.00p +1.88%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
United Drug (UDG) 263.50p -2.41%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 283.20p -2.38%
IP Group (IPO) 126.00p -2.33%
Pace (PIC) 213.40p -2.33%
SIG (SHI) 133.50p -2.20%
Informa (INF) 480.80p -2.12%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 259.40p -1.85%
easyJet (EZJ) 856.00p -1.83%
Halma (HLMA) 447.70p -1.82%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 132.00p -1.79%